St. George's, Bermuda, is a storybook town, with narrow alleys winding past historic buildings, and charming houses with gardens and whitewashed fences. Founded in 1612, it was Bermuda's first capital.
King's Square, the heart of town, has shops and historic buildings. On Wednesday and Saturday at noon, the town crier rings his bell and booms the news of the town. Often, a "criminal" will be brought forward and put in the stocks. Visitors can "imprison" themselves in the stocks and have a photo taken.
Pick up a self-guided walking tour map at the tourist office in King's Square. The tour includes the Old State House, built in 1620, making it the oldest building on the islands; the pulpit and cemetery of St. Peter's Church, said to be the oldest Anglican place of worship in the Western Hemisphere; the Town Hall, built in 1782; and Bridge House.
Right next to the Tucker House, one of the island's original colonial homes, is Barber's Alley, which commemorates ex-slave Joseph Hayne Rainey. He escaped to Bermuda and worked as a barber before returning to South Carolina after the Civil War to become the first African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Be sure to look for the Unfinished Church, the shell of what was to have been a magnificent cathedral. Other sites include Somers Garden (watch for brilliantly colored chameleons), Featherbed Alley Printery (contains a working 18th-century press), the Featherbed Art Studio and the restored Somers Wharf area (now a shopping and restaurant complex). Also, several beaches are located near St. George's.
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